An exciting exhibition space within the recently-opened Brockley Mess café.
When Franco La Russa opened cueB Gallery on Brockley Road in September 2009, his wish was for the gallery to provide an exciting new exhibition space to help focus the diverse artistic talents in the area. Having lived locally for over a decade, he was aware of the fact that Brockley lacked a focal point for the many artists based there.
To lessen the gallery’s dependence on sales and have full curatorial freedom, Franco teamed up with Ray Voce and Melanie Montagu, the entrepreneurs behind the successful “The Brockley Mess”. Having a dedicated gallery space in a popular café makes for a relaxed, accessible atmosphere for both seasoned art-lovers and those new to the art world.
However, being friendly and local doesn’t mean being less ambitious. On the contrary, Franco’s selection criteria are strict and he chooses the artists he represents solely on the base of the artistic merit of their work. The gallery’s program is comprised of shows by national and international artists working in a variety of media. Recent shows have included the emerging Korean artist Hee Seung Sung, Swiss painter Felix Baudenbacher and young British artist Perienne Christian.
Conceptually, cueB Gallery artists’ work covers a broad spectrum ranging from the surreal to the political and socially critical. cueB’s upcoming exhibition by photographer Mary-Jane Maybury is an example of the latter, showing hauntingly beautiful photographs that document the powerful story of Hurricane Katrina’s path and how it affected the ordinary people of New Orleans. The exhibition runs from July 29 to September 4.
The gallery also runs a juried open-submission program providing an additional platform for emerging artists and culminating in an annual group show called Open cueB.
Apart from referring to the physical shape of the gallery (cube), the name cueB is derived from the words ‘cue’ and ‘Brockley’. A cue is a signal for action and to ‘cue Brockley’ expresses the desire to put the area and its artists in the spotlight.
Thanks to his commitment and professionalism, Franco has managed to establish cueB Gallery in the short year and a half of its existence as an innovative exhibition platform and a focus for the arts in South London. cueB is also included in the new South London Art Map launched at Tate Modern last February.